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OpenMarket: August 2011

  • The DOJ's Antitrust Seers

    August 31, 2011
    The philosopher Yogi Berra once said that “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Let’s apply his lesson to the proposed $39 billion AT&T-T-Mobile merger.
  • Indiana School Vouchers Please Parents, Infuriate Teachers

    August 31, 2011
    More news from the frontlines in the battle over school choice, as thousands of Indianans have taken advantage of the Hoosier state’s Choice Scholarship Program. Public school teachers and administrators are naturally panicked over this development, going so far as to contact parents and persuade them to keep their children enrolled. The program is welcome news for many parents concerned about the education their children are currently receiving in public schools. Yet opposition to the program is strong, and the Indiana teachers’ unions are working to thwart the program. They claim it...
  • Pampers Dry Max class action settlement objection

    August 31, 2011
    This week, we objected to a $0 settlement of the Pampers Dry Max class action that proposes paying $2.7 million to the lawyers. More details at Point of Law. Adam Schulman will argue at the fairness hearing in federal court in Cincinnati next month.
  • Obama Justice Department Forces Banks to Make Risky Loans, Planting the Seeds of a Future Financial Crisis

    August 31, 2011
    The Wall Street Journal today writes about how the Obama administration is repeating the "mistakes of the past by intimidating banks into lending to minority borrowers at below-market rates in the name of combating discrimination." Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez has argued that bankers who don't make as many loans to blacks as whites (because they make lending decisions based on traditional lending criteria like credit scores, which tend to be higher among white applicants than black applicants) are engaged in a "form of discrimination and bigotry" as serious as "cross-burning." Perez has compared bankers to "Klansmen," and extracted settlements from banks "...
  • Today's Links: August 31, 2011

    August 31, 2011
    NEWS ALCOHOL - How Does a Wine Monopoly Lose Money? "In a report issued today, Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner says the state liquor control board's wine vending machines, a wonderful illustration of what happens when a government monopoly tries to act more like a business, are operating at a loss, costing taxpayers more than $1 million since they were introduced a year ago. 'We think the wine kiosk program has failed,' Wagner said at a press conference, 'and it needs dramatic, radical changes if the program is going to continue to exist.' PRIVACY -...
  • Regulation of the Day 196: Babysitting

    August 31, 2011
    This bill will result in a lot of unhappy nights at home for frustrated parents – and a lot less income for sitters who have been priced out of a job.
  • NLRB's Pro-Big Labor Ruling Trifecta is Bad News for the Economy

    August 31, 2011
    Earlier this year, President Obama proudly touted his executive order calling for federal agencies to review regulations on their books and identify obsolete rules for repeal. That was a welcome gesture, but unfortunately it seems to have remained just that. In the case of labor policy, the administration is taking the opposite approach. The Obama administration seems to be throwing every pro-union measure at the wall to see what sticks, in order to give union bosses something -- anything -- to keep them on board for the 2012 elections. Having failed to get legislation favorable to organized labor through Congress -- including the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which would have effectively eliminated secret ballots in union organizing elections -- the administration is now trying its hardest...
  • CEI and Crossroads GPS Announce Launch of Big Labor vs. Taxpayers Index

    August 31, 2011
    With state governments across the country struggling to balance budgets and fund basic services over the demands of big government unions, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in partnership with Crossroads GPS, has launched the Big Labor vs. Taxpayers Index – a tool to empower citizens to challenge these unions’ oversized political clout. Using 1,150 data points, the index ranks each state in 23 different categories to determine where government union lobbyists have maximum sway over policymakers, and where the fiscal concerns of taxpayers are most strongly represented. The initiative’s interactive map allows citizens to easily navigate the data and find information about government employee union activity in their states....
  • Despite D.C. Legalization of Online Poker, Players Leave USA

    August 30, 2011
    It is perhaps a little ironic that the most vocal opponents of online poker will soon be the only people in the USA who can legally play online poker. The District of Columbia is moving forward with its plans to run the pilot program, which will allow 20 to 30 places around D.C. to offer online poker within the next week or so, despite the claims of corruption during the initial phases when the plans were pushed through the legislative process. If all goes well, the virtual poker rooms will open their doors to anyone (of age) in the District by the end of the year. The planned system in D.C. has a lot of problems from a free market standpoint. For...
  • Many New Job-Killing Regulations from the Obama Administration

    August 30, 2011
    Andrew Stiles describes "Ten Job-Destroying Regulations" from the Obama administration that will wipe out hundreds of thousands of jobs. Another job-killing regulation is the Obama administration's recent demand that trucking companies employ alcoholics as truckers rather than assigning them to less safety-sensitive positions -- a demand that will lead to costly lawsuits against trucking companies by accident victims, and thus discourage anyone from setting up new trucking companies. Still another is the Obama EEOC's current practice of ...

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